Kemet Klub

The Obelisks of ancient Egypt: History and Texts


Dr Luigi Prada
Sunday 26th May, 2nd & 9th June 2024

Certificate of Completion


At the end of this course you will be able to download a personalised certificate of completion from the classroom. A great way to keep track of your learning and celebrate your Egyptological journey.

The Obelisks of Ancient Egypt: History and Texts

6 lectures delivered over 3 afternoons. Sunday 26th May, 2nd & 9th June 2024
2-5pm UK times.

We love to see you for the live lectures, but if you have to miss one, don't worry, you can of course catch up (or watch again) at your leisure via the recordings. You will have access to the recorded lectures for a whole month after the last live lecture. Recordings will be available until 9 July 2024.

Obelisks are some of the most iconic monuments of ancient Egypt. Huge granite monoliths covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, they were typically erected in celebration of the sovereign and the sun-god. Surviving examples span more than two millennia of ancient Egyptian history, from the time of Senwosret I in the Middle Kingdom to that of emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century CE.

When looking at them, though, we often forget to pay attention to what their originally context was, both archaeologically and culturally. Moreover, as familiar as we may be with their images and sheer mass, the exact content of their inscriptions is often unknown to most. 

With this course, you will get to understand obelisks in a holistic fashion. Following a general introduction to the topic and the main features of these monoliths through the centuries, we will tackle a number of concrete case-studies, including obelisks from the New Kingdom through to Roman times. Here, our focus will primarily shift to their inscriptions, of which we will read a selection in the original hieroglyphic Middle Egyptian.

This course will therefore appeal to those interested in ancient Egyptian architecture, religion, kingship and / or, of course, language and epigraphy. The obelisks selected as case-studies will include monoliths that are in Egypt, but also a number of those now standing in European capitals such as London and Rome—plus, some lesser-known, unexpected gems.

All copies of the original hieroglyphic texts and related reading materials will be provided.  We will read the inscriptions together—hence, course participants will not be expected to prepare the texts in advance (though they are of course welcome to, should they want to).  Students who are keen for some extra home study will be provided with some homework to do between classes if they wish to further their reading and translation skills. 

Join us for a  series of 6 lectures, spread over three afternoons.  Together we will consider many elements of  the story of these ancient stone skyscrapers.  Through looking at their origins, purpose, discovery, journeys, re- use and texts, we will gain a full appreciation of these majestic and dramatic monuments. 

Dr Luigi Prada

Dr Luigi Prada is Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Uppsala University (Sweden). Prior to this appointment, he held academic positions in the UK (Oxford), Germany (Heidelberg), and Denmark (Copenhagen). He is deputy director of the joint Oxford-Uppsala fieldwork project in Elkab (southern Egypt), and president of ACME (Society of Friends and Collaborators of the Museo Egizio), Turin.

Booking instructions

To book your place on this course you must add this product to your basket and go through the checkout process. You can pay with PayPal or your debit card, or you can select to post a cheque or make a bank transfer. Once your payment is received and complete you will have access to the course pages from your profile page.  By booking a course you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions which can be read here

Session links will be available in the course Classroom. Room opens 30 minutes before the lecture begins. If you do not have the course link or have any other queries please get in touch

Your Cart is empty!

It looks like you haven't added any items to your cart yet.

Browse Products